Rumors Prove True: Cisco Unveils Android-Based Tablet


Cisco Systems Tuesday debuted Cisco Cius, a tablet device designed to work with various Cisco collaboration and video tools, including HD video. The Cius, which Cisco is billing as a "mobile collaboration business tablet," runs on Google Android and will be sold through channel partners as part of Cisco's unified communications and collaboration portfolio.

Among the Cius' capabilities are realtime video, multiparty conferencing, e-mail, messaging, Web browsing and cloud-based content sharing.

Specwise, it weighs 1.5 pounds, includes a front-mounted 720p HD camera, a 7-inch VGA touch-target display, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 8 hours of battery life, an accelerometer and support for 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G, with 4G services promised at a later date.

It will be supported by Cisco's Unified Communications Manager and support Cisco Quad, Cisco WebEx Connect, Cisco Presence and a range of other Cisco collaboration tools, as well as interoperability with TelePresence. Cisco said it will also offer Cisco Collaboration APIs to Android developers through a Cius-specific SDK, for use with the tablet.

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Cisco debuted Cius at Cisco Live, taking place this week in Las Vegas. According to Cisco, Cius will be available in the first quarter of calendar 2011, with customer trials beginning in the third quarter of 2010.

Cisco executives were not immediately available for additional comment, and the company did not confirm pricing.

A Cisco spokesperson told CRN that Cisco is "targeting a street price of less than $1,000" and that the go-to-market strategy for Cius would be through Cisco partners, as in other products in Cisco's UCC portfolio.

"This platform can transform how health-care professionals advance patient care, how retailers deliver service experiences to consumers, or how universities deliver world-class education to their students," said Tony Bates, senior vice president and general manager, enterprise, commercial and small business, at Cisco, in a statement. "Best of all, Cisco Cius offers IT functions a way to dramatically lower the cost-per-user of provisioning those new experiences."

In the past few months, Cisco has been fine-tuning its collaboration strategy with the release of products such as the Intercompany Media Engine, a server that can connect UC systems within individual enterprises and create a secure gateway among them, and Cisco Quad, the enterprise collaboration and social media platform slated for release in the U.S. in January 2011.

The releases continue Cisco's collaboration momentum following a a 61-product collaboration blitz last fall.

Cisco tablet rumors began to surface in mid-April, and a number of other vendors, including Avaya, are also said to be working on tablet devices.